Girls State returns to Troy University

Published 8:25 pm Monday, June 7, 2010

For the 11th year, Girls State convened at Troy University June 6, and will have 301 high school juniors in attendance through June 11.

Each student was chosen from their individual high schools by counselors and faculty.

Among the number of delegates participating in Girls State are Emily Melton of Charles Henderson High School and Peyton Rose of Pike Liberal Arts School.

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Girls State is a program that teaches upcoming seniors the fundamentals of citizenship, and the delegates are given a hands-on approach of the duties, responsibilities and privileges of an American citizenship.

“It’s all about how our system of government works,” said Jasmine Cottrell, a former County Commissioner of the Yellow Hammer Jammers at Girls State in 2006. “It educates the participants on our system of government. At first I didn’t think I’d like it, but it was awesome. The week went by too quickly.”

Delegates are assigned to cities (their living quarters) ,which are grouped into counties, which make up a state. The girls elect officials to run the government and are introduced to passing bills into law.

“I’m running for county coroner,” said Marlee Milner, a delegate from Harper, City 3. “We will have to speak in front of our party (Federalist) and if they nominate me, I will have to speak in front of the whole county.”

Whichever girl becomes governor at this end of the week will be sent to Girls Nation July 17-24 where they will campaign for president against other states in America.

Meanwhile, with two days under their belts, the girls are just busy meeting new people and running their individual governments.

“You get to meet all of these different girls and their personalities. It’s really fun,” said Milner.

The girls are looking forward to Skit Night and the trip to meet Governor Bob Riley at the State Capitol.

Not only does Girls State provide a clear understanding of how the government works, but it also opened its arms to more scholarships for the participants.

“During the opening ceremonies, Troy University’s Chancellor Jack Hawkins has graciously decided to give every girl who will attend Girls State and go to Troy University a $1,000 scholarship,” said Martha Griffith, Girls State Media Representative.

The scholarships offered this year doubled the amount in scholarship money offered four years ago.